As you may know, I am in full Mama Bear mode these days. With one toddler already and my second child due in July, I have become intensely focused on raising, protecting, nurturing, and teaching my children.
For those of you who have kids, you know what I’m talking about. You’ve experienced firsthand how the process of becoming a parent causes a fundamental change in you. Moms, you know that before your baby even gets here you begin a process of child-proofing your home. You secure all the sockets with those plastic coverings. You take your fragile decorations out of arm’s reach. You replace sharp and precarious furniture with more kid-friendly pieces.
This is the instinct of any parent who is remotely in tune with their child’s well-being. You protect them from harm by whatever means possible. And it plays out in every area of life. You don’t give them too much sugar, you don’t let them play in the middle of the road, you don’t let them wander off with strangers.
It is therefore astounding to me that parents who otherwise protect their children would allow them to have access to dangerous and damaging technology like social media. A couple of months ago, I made some comments about the Kim and Kanye debacle over whether or not their daughter North should be allowed to have a social media platform and presence.
And I just can’t let this go. I want to dive deeper today with you and share three reasons why you should keep your kids off social media.
A Childhood Stolen
First, social media robs kids of their childhood.
As human beings develop, we should be exposed to certain ideas and images at appropriate times. Kids should be allowed to be kids. The primary concern of an eight-year-old should be who is coming to her sleepover, not whether or not she should get butt implants.
And yet this is what we are seeing with kids on social media — they’re growing up at warp speed into a twisted, perverted version of adulthood that, frankly, adults shouldn’t even aspire to.
Childhood is precious and should be protected. Your kid should be dancing in real life, not dancing on TikTok.
A Modern Pandora’s Box
Second, social media is devastating to your child’s emotional and physical health.
Social platforms foster unhealthy competition, comparison, and expectations. When you give your child access to social media, you’re also opening the door for the most extreme people and ideas on the planet to enter their minds.
Kids aren’t emotionally equipped to process and evaluate all of this input. It’s sensory overload to the max. By nature, young children are often incapable of dealing with their emotions in a reasonable manner, and social media heightens and amplifies their emotions — especially the negative ones — leaving them in a dangerous state.
And we know it’s girls who are most vulnerable to the effects of social media. Last year, BYU released findings from a 10-year study showing that as social media use increases among girls, so does their risk for suicide. Why did it take a study to confirm this? Does anyone feel better after scrolling for hours on end? No. You feel “less than.” You feel ugly. You feel like you just need that body, that face, that bedroom, that puppy to feel like you’re enough. However those stressors affect you, they’re even more intense for children.
Giving your child social media is like handing them the keys to a sports car and saying, “Have fun!” It is remarkably unfair and irresponsible. Parents: Please do not cave and simply give your kids what they want. “It makes them happy!” you say. I don’t care if it gets them temporarily happy — in the long run, it will cause them tremendous pain.
Don’t Do Business With People Who Don’t Deserve Your Trust
The last thing I want to point out is that by allowing your kids to use social media, you’re supporting evil corporations.
By their own admission, social media giants recognize the devastating effects of their products when used by children. Last fall, internal research documents from Facebook were leaked to the world, revealing that Facebook was aware of the harmful effects of Instagram on teenage girls’ mental health. Despite their best attempts to keep it quiet, a whistleblower came forward and revealed the information. But honestly, the study only served to confirm what researchers (and common sense) tell us. Instagram causes girls to feel worse about their bodies, and it increases the risk of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
This infuriates me. And our society’s blind acceptance of this corruption and hypocrisy infuriates me.
Let me ask you this: Would you eat at a restaurant that served food that would poison you? Would you buy a car from a manufacturer who knew there were dangerous flaws with its vehicles? Would you send your child to a summer camp where you knew they would be abused?
No. Because you don’t do business with people who don’t deserve your trust. And you certainly shouldn’t do business with those who can’t be trusted to take care of your children.
Parents, you — and only you — are ultimately responsible for your child’s well-being. We live in a society that overlooks this basic fact. And I get it — a lot of people are ignorant of how harmful social media is, which is why I won’t stop talking about this issue.
Protecting your children should be an obsession. May I suggest you develop that obsession? Protect their hearts and minds. Fight to give your child a normal life. Create a life where they can do normal third-grade or middle-school things — without the pain and pressure that social media so unnecessarily brings.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.